This Christmas, Doctor Who will undergo one of the biggest transformations in its 54-year history: For the first time, the Doctor will regenerate into a woman. But outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat has decided now, three weeks before he’s effectively done with the series, is the best time to put his foot in his mouth over the change.
Speaking to the Radio Times as part of an extensive interview about his time on Doctor Who, Moffat deflected a question about why it took until now – and a new showrunner in the form of Chris Chibnall – to cast a woman in the title role. Defending his decision to not cast a woman during his own tenure, Moffat simply stated that such a decision would have upset “Daily Mail-reading viewers”, and, weirdly enough, invoked Brexit in the process:
This isn’t a show exclusively for progressive liberals; this is also for people who voted Brexit. That’s not me politically at all – but we have to keep everyone on board.
OK, sure, Doctor Who is designed to be a show that appeals to a broad spectrum of viewers – young, old, men, women, even conservative or liberal. But it’s pretty disingenuous to paint a show about an often non-violent protagonist who abandons an isolationist society to use its advanced technology to right injustices and defend the defenceless from evil – including fascist pepper pots! – as something that isn’t anything other than wildly left-leaning at its core. The Doctor, regardless of incarnation, is pretty much a bleeding heart (hearts, technically) liberal in quasi-immortal form. It’s also a pretty weird thing to say considering Moffat immediately went on to add that the time was right to have a female Doctor given it was something most of the Who-watching audience were asking for:
All credit to [Chris Chibnall]. It’s going to work, I know it is. More and more of the audience were asking for it. It’s is absolutely the right choice. Now is the time.
This isn’t the first time Moffat has tried to cast the decision of having a female Doctor as a political one, but it kind of begs the question: Now that we have a female Doctor on the way so soon – literally weeks away – what on earth was the point of re-litigating a silly, moot argument?
[Radio Times via The Independent]